Sunday, May 1, 2011

Woodside May 1

Today was *way* better than yesterday!

But Alex and I were busy moving into our new place, and didn't get out until 1:30pm, by which point the early XC-ers were well on their way.  But it appeared to be a slow day at Sasquatch, as we watched a few pilots bomb out below and others scratch for a really long time before they finally got out of there.

Up on launch it was a gong show with all available launch space taken up, and people laying PG's out all over the place and the HG's in the back.  But the cycles were consistent which made it pretty easy to get the lineup going, and I was soon in the air.

It was some of the jounciest air I've felt in a long time!  It was rough and sharp thermals and they would drift in weird directions.  It was hard to maintain the core and tough to get high.  I could see a bit of west wind on Harrison Bay, and with the lame-looking conditions over at Sasquatch I decided to go over the back and do the Woody-Bridal run.

Agassiz wasn't much better with equally bad climbs, and I was only able to get to 1300m there.  Bear sucked as well but eventually got to 1400m for the crossing.  Fortunately there was zip for wind, so it was enough to get me to Ludwig with 600m to spare and an easy climb up to the Butterfly.

The air was soooo much nicer over on the Bridal side!   It was actually very south up high, so the entire Bridal range was in the lee, which made it interesting in some of the gaps, for instance coming from Jones Lake, between the Lakes and Cheam, and also in the Gloria-Elk gap.  Elk sucked big time and I went there only for the distance, and scooted back to Gloria where I had achieved 1550m earlier.  But it wasn't there anymore, and I wanted to get back to the Woodside side of the Valley, so I opted to fly back to Archibald, tank up, and head to Harvest Market.

1500m at Archibald and it was enough to get me comfortably to Harvest Market, due to the still-nil winds.  I actually had enough to get to Harvest West, and found a small thermal over Harvest proper which gave me an extra 80m, which I used to extend my track back to Woodside, before turning around to land at Harvest for a 51km FAI triangle.

Al was just packing up there, after his big flight to Benedict and out near Bear Mountain, landing at Harvest too.  Tom C. had followed me most of the way around the course and landed at Harvest too, and Rob S. followed about 30 minutes later.  Alex landed on the Bridal side of the river after he couldn't make the final glide across to Riverside.  And lots of others pilots did XC's as well...Robin to Big Nick and then Agassiz, Veronica to Harrison, and a score of others who went west past Sasquatch.  I even heard of some HG's in the St. Benedict area.  All in all it was a super XC day, despite it being not-so-great climbs in the FV, and definitely not a classic day.  Unfortunately the air was so active today, I didn't really get a chance to take any photos!

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